Peers in Learning makes annual visit to Cider Hill Family Orchard

The trip to the orchard provided experience outside of the classroom for students

Aiden Burke, JagWire reporter/photographer

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The Special Education department accompanied Peers in Learning students to Cider Hill Family Orchard Thursday, Oct. 3 where they had an opportunity to socialize and have fun outside of class. 

The visit, lasting just under three hours, intended to make students feel more welcome among their peers and give them good memories, according to special education teacher Zach McFall.

“We just want [Peers in Learning students] to be comfortable with the other students in the school,” McFall said. “Hopefully, they just remember the fun times with their friends and when they leave high school they can look back and think of it as a fun experience and a good memory.”

One student in Peers in Learning who travelled to the orchard was junior Jake Burton. He thinks that the trip helps all of the students build better socialization skills.

“Our goal is to get the students out and about so that they can have a more social experience than just sitting in class listening to a teacher,” Burton said.

McFall believes that the trip subjects the students to many new experiences while also getting them out of the high-stress environment of a classroom.

“We want to give the kids a new experience, something that they probably haven’t done,” McFall said. “They get an opportunity to get out of the classroom, hang out with their friends and peers, and just work on being in the community and a lot of the life skills that we talk about in the class.”

The trip also allows them to connect better with peers and have a good time outside of school.

“[The students] all really enjoyed [the trip], they all connected really well with their peers and all of our peers in the program are really good with the kids,” McFall said. “They all became good friends and we were able to get them out of the classroom to hang out outside of the academic sphere and get out into the community; they really seem to enjoy doing that.”

Burton thought that the experience was very beneficial for him because he learned more about the students in his Peers in Learning class.

“They can get to enjoy the same social situations that we do such as going to the apple orchard,” Burton said. “They can do the same things we do and enjoy it the same way that we do.”

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